December 17, 2010

Keeping the Christ in Christmas--by being a jerk

While admittedly muted this year, the annual ritual of Christian conservatives bitching about people saying Happy Holidays just annoys the crap out of me. Nothing could be more about purely invented outrage than this nothing issue. This is just about Christians wanting to be treated as the dominant culture, rather than remembering the actual meaning of their faith. You know, turning the other cheek, and demonstrating love for man kind?

No, as Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress decided, Christmas should be about attacking anyone who dares to not mention Christmas.
"Jeffress came up with the website,, because he wanted to make a point about keeping Christ in Christmas. allows people to create their own lists of businesses that promote the Christ in Christmas and shame those who don't.
Right, because nothing says Christmas more than someone being forced to celebrate Christmas. The real meaning of Christmas, evidently, is to be able to consume, consume, consume, and do so in the name of Christ.

And let's not forget the things that don't offend these Christians. No movement from Jeffress to oppose torture, or express outrage that Christians endorse torture. No movement to make sure that the working poor can actually celebrate Christmas, or stop the tax breaks for the wealthiest of the wealthy. No outrage that our Congress is taking pride in stopping climate change legislation.

Nope. Outrage that someone from Barnes & Noble doesn't say "Merry Christmas." Talk about lightweight. Talk about trivial. Talk about meaningless.

Nice job turning Christmas into a battle ground. I am sure Jesus is proud that you took this holiday and turned it into a time to shame others.


Smitty said...

We had a similar post up at ATK about the AFA's annual list of companies that don't scream "Christmas" loud enough. Monk In Training stopped by and had this to say:

The AFA has lost the meaning of Christmas, mixing it up with the Empire of our day - wealth and power go hand in hand, and words and symbols are all they want to "sugar coat" an anti-Christian period of overindulgence, greed, and commercialism referred to as Christmas by a capitalistic society that refuses to honor the traditions of the Child born to an undocumented, unmarried, transient 13(ish)-year old girl who gave birth in someone's barn because no one would welcome her into their home.

The Christian season in which we find ourselves at this time of year is Advent, not Christmas. The Christian season of Christmas begins at sundown Christmas Eve and continues until sunrise on Epiphany (hence the 12 days of Christmas).

If Christians such as the AFA really wanted to "put Christ back into Christmas", they would remember that this is supposed to be a time of reflection and expectant hope as we look hard into ourselves and attempt to serve those around us, and in that way we are serving the coming Christ of Christmas.

Monk-in-Training said...

Yes I did, and my words were inspired by a little homily by a UCC pastor I follow.

The Jesus of the Gospels would have hung out with those digging in the trash behind Barnes and Nobles looking for some scrap of food, not in the front with all the glitter.

One of the biggest blessings I have this year is a group of old ladies that are knitting hats for my little group to wrap and give to the homeless people that come to our feeding in the park.

Can you imagine a better way to keep Christmas than giving warmth to a cold, poor person?

leighton said...

When someone says "Merry Christmas" but mean "Hail Caesar," it's kind of obvious that they will see anything different as a moral failing. Kind of funny that when Christianity took over the Roman Empire, it let the Empire return the favor in time.

Sadly, the price of hair-trigger outrage is that its possessors are ridiculously easy to con. I'm not surprised at these results, but a little appalled that these people (who include some of my family) apparently have such an underdeveloped sense of self-preservation and haven't even noticed anything wrong. Seriously, it's not like Matthew 10:16 instructs Christians to be shrewd as doves and innocent as serpents; I seem to remember it being the other way around.

Monk, that is a fantastic way to spend Christmas. If I weren't scheduled to work, I would love to do something like that.

Bob said...

Happy Holy Day everyone!